Three piracy incidents were reported off Nigeria and one suspicious approach off Sao Tome and Principe. One incident off Nigeria resulted in the kidnapping of six crew members.
20 October 2017 - The OSV, MV Princess Ebikenie was attacked by eight men in a black speedboat approximately 50nm south of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The speedboat approached at 25 to 27 knots and fired on the vessel. The onboard Navy team returned fire. The boat moved away after 25 minutes.19 The same vessel was attacked in the same vicinity on 26 September 2017. The attackers fired on the vessel with AK 47s during that attack. The attackers moved away when they could not breach the security measures.20
21 October 2017 - Eight armed men in speedboats attacked the Container Vessel, Demeter, 40nm south of Bonny, Nigeria. They kidnapped six crew members.21
25 October 2017 - The Crude oil tanker, Front Cosmos was boarded by armed men from a speed boat while underway 51nm SSW of Bonny, Nigeria. The crew retreated to the citadel. They contacted the owners of the vessel. The owners informed the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre which contacted the Nigerian Navy. The navy dispatched a warship to assist the vessel. The pirates had left when the navy arrived.22
27 October 2017 - The LPG tanker, Hellas Gladiator was approached by five speed boats while underway 35nm NW of Sao Tome & Principe Coast. The alarm was raised, the crew mustered and evasive manoeuvres was initiated. Due to this actions and bad weather the speed boats moved away.
MT Maximus Hijacking
The trial of the pirates involved in the MT Maximus hijacking proceeded at the Federal High Court in Lagos on 10 October 2017. The defendants are Umarama Ovuiro (aka Capt Mike Ogboroma), Adesola Peter (aka Marcus Adesoji), Collins Harrison (aka Collins Friday), Paul Adeyemi, Adedeji Joshua (aka Ayo Joshua), Samuel Oluwafemi and Abdulrahman Kabir (aka Tunde). They are charged of the offence of conspiracy, dealing in petroleum products without authority and transferring it to another vessel according to sections 1 (17), 3 (6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act 2004 and Section 15 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011, as well as the unlawful possession of firearms under sections 3 and 8 punishable under Section 27 (1) (a) of the Firearms Act of 2004. The defendants pleaded not guilty. 23
On 11 February 2016 MT Maximus was hijacked off Abidjan, Ivory Coast. After ten days the vessel was intercepted by the Nigerian Navy in Sao Tome. The Nigerian Navy arrested six pirates. Satellite phone communications as well as the pirate vessel Dejikun let back to Charles Ekpemefumor. He was declared wanted. The owner of the Dejikun,Mustapha Gani,was arrested on the Seme border in June 2016.
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